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Full text of "Buffalo cemeteries : an account of the burial-places of Buffalo, from the earliest times : read before the Buffalo Historical Society, February 4, 1879"

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F    129 
.B8    H6 
Copy    1 

I.MI-.NTS    Oh- 

jO.,  H.    MARSHALL. 

No.  TOO  Main   Sthkkt, 

1  r.m-'M.d 






FEBRUARY  4,  187^! 


1!  U  F  F  A  L  O  : 


bi(;klo\v  brothers,  62  &  64  pearl  street, 

VOK.    THI",    SOCIKTY. 







FEBRUARY  4,  1S79. 


B  V  F  F  A  L  O  : 

Printed  a.nt)   PLnii.isnicn  in' 

HICELOW    I'.ROTHERS,  (,2  &  64   ITvARl,  STRIlE'l', 

I-OK     I'lIK    SoriETV. 

^  L  (o  0  q 




















The   Mound Unknown. 

Johnston's 1802  ?-i8ii 

Franklin  Square i8o4?-i836 

Cold  Spring rSio  -1815 

Bidwell  Farm   1811   -1825 

Soldiers' 1812  -1814 

1.  Terrace 

2.  Sandy  Town 

3.  Conjockety  Creek. .    

4.  Black  Rock 

5 .  Park  M  eado w , 

6.  VVilliamsville 

Reservation  (old  Indian) ii82o?- 

Black  Rock... '.  :i820  -i860 

Poorhouse  Potter's  Field :i82g  -1851 

Old  St.  Louis i  1830  -1832 

Delaware  and  North  Street J1830  -t86o 

New  St.  Louis   

Potter's  Field  (city) 

Mathews  and  Wilcox - 

Old  St.  Mary's 


Bethel  (old) 

St.  Francis  Xavier 

St.  Joseph's 

Forest  Lawn 

Holy  Cross 

St.  John 

Concordia  (union) 

1.  German  Evangelical  St.  Peter's.  .  . 

2.  German  Evangelical  St.  Stephen's. 

3.  First  German  Lutheran  Trinity... 

Holy  Rest 

United  German  and  French. 

Zion  Church 

Howard  F'ree 

Bethel  (new) 

Beth  Zion 

Mount  Hope 

Temple  Beth  Zion.  . 

Fort  Porter  (soldiers') 

German   Methodist 

St.  Mathew's 




















*  As  far  as  number  13,  the  dates  are  mainly  api)roximate,  not  absolute. 


Allen,  Lewis  ¥   

Angels,  Church  of  Holy. 
Atkins,  Mrs.  Rudolph.'. 
"Avenue,"   The 

Bidwell,  Cen 

Bigelow,    Rev.  '\lbert 

Bird,  Col.  Wm.  A 

Bishop,  Col 

Bliss,  Col.  John 

Buffalo  Cemetery  Association . 
Buffalo  City  Cemetery  .Ass^i.. 

Caskey,   Mr 

Cattaraugus  Reservation  (note) 
Chapin,  Doctor  C,  (note).  .  .  . 

Chapin,  Dr.  Daniel 

Chapin,  Col.  Wm.  \V 

"Circle,"'  The 

Clark,  Charles  E 

Clary,  Joseph 

Cochrane,  John 

Collins,  John 

Conjockely  Creek 

Cotton,  Capl.  Rowland 

Cotton,  Mrs.  Ward 

Deforest,  Cyrus  H. 
Dox,  Capt 

Eleven    Mile  Creek 

Ellicott,  Joseph,  (note).  .  .    . 


Episcopal  Ch'ch  Ch'ty  Fund 
Episcopal  Ch'ch,  service  of.. 
Evans,  John  B 

Farmer's  Brother  (note). 

Fay,   Col 

Flint   Hill 

Fort  Erie    

Frazer,  Maj.   Dojiald    .  . 




I,  20 

8.  16 

1 1 





12,  &c 





IV.  &  5 






15,  17 



Granger,  Judge  Erastus 13 

Granger,  Rev.  J.N I2 

Granger,   Seth 6 

Granger,   Warren 12 

Gridley,  Frederick   o 

Guide  Board  Road lO 

Crulf  Road,  (correction) iv.  &  10 

Haskel,  John..  .  . 
Heyvvood,  R.  H. 
Hodge  Family..  . 


Hodge,  lienjamin,   Sen 

Hodge,  Benjamin,   Jun 

Hodge,  Wm.,  Sen 13, 

Holland  Land  Co 

Hopkins,  Hon.  T.  A 

lloysington,  Job 

Hoyt,  Joseph  D  .  .  .  . 

Huil,   Capt 

Jewelt,  Elam  R 

Johnston,   Jack 

Johnston,  Capl.  Wm 

"Jubilee  Spring,"  (note) 






Lacy,  [ohn  T.      g 

Lay,   John,  Jr., 12  ivc. 

Lecouteulx,    Mr 21 

Limestone  Flill.  ...    2T,  22 

Ludlow,  Ethan 10 

Normal  School  Building 6 

"Old  Homestead,"  The. 
Ottenot,  Nicholas,  Esq. 

ParK,  The 

Parrish,  Jasper 

Peacock,  Judge 

Pierce,    Loring 

Pine  Hill 

"Plains,"  The 

Pomeroy,  Oliver 

Porter,  Gen.  Peter  B. 
Potter,  Heman  B.  .  . . 
Pratt,  Capt.  (note).  .  . 
Pratt,  Hiram 


12  &C. 



20,  22 





Red  Jacket,    (note)   iv.  &  24 

Rough,  Capt.  James  (note).  .  .  iv.  &  9 

Saunders,  Capt 16 

Sheldon,  Alex.  J.,    (Preface).  .  i 

Sheldon  Place 3 

Shelton,  Rev.   Dr [3 

Sher'v'ood  Family,  (correction)  iv.  &  13 

Spaulding,    Hon.  E.  G 14 

Smyth,  Gen 17 

St.  John,  Gamaliel    5 

St.  Joseph's  College 15 

Storrs,  Juba  &  Co 18 

Storrs,  Gen.   Lucius 3 

Webster,  George  B 

Wilkeson,  Hon.  Samuel. 


Note,  page  4,  Franklin  Square  Cemetery. — Capt.  Pratt  went,  the  first  year  of  his 
arrival  here  (1804)  with  Dr.  CyreniusChapin,  to  Batavia.  and  obtained,  by  "land 
contract  "  from  the  Holland  Land  Co.,  the  "  Franklin  Square  "  lot  for  a  village 
buiying  ground. 

Note,  page  ^j. — To  the  account  of  interments  in  Franklin  Square  Cemetery,  it  is 
interesting  to  add  that  in  March.  1815,  the  noble  and  estimable  Indian  Chief, 
Farmer's  Brother,  was  buried  here,  with  military  honors.  When  the  bodies 
were  removed  to  Forest  Lawn,  a  tablet,  with  his  initials  formed  by  brass  nails, 
was  found  ;  but  like  Job  Hoysington's  skull  (p.  6)  disappeared  in  the  process  of 

Note,  page  5. — Mr.  Ellicott's  '"  verbal  consent  "  must  have  been  given  considerably 
prior  to  1804. 

Note, page  9. — The  last  two  lines  of  the  epitaph  on  Rougli  are  from  Burns'  epi- 
taph on  Gavin  Hamilton. 

Note,  page  24,  Reservation  Cemetery. — Red  Jacket,  contrary  to  his  own  decidedly 
expressed  will,  was  buried  with  Christian  rites  ;  his  wife  being  a  Christian  wo- 
man. Only  his  grave,  however,  is  now  in  this  Cemetery,  for  his  remains  were 
removed  to  the  Cattaraugus  Reservation,  in  1852,  and  the  exact  place  where 
they  lie  is  known  only  to  his  own  descendants.  It  is  to  be  hoped  that  before 
long,  as  all  objections  on  the  part  of  his  people  have  been  removed,  a  suitable 
place  will  be  furnished  for  their  reception  in  Forest  Lawn. 


On  account  of  conflict  of  authorities,  discovered  too  late  for  changes  in  the 
text  before  printing,  the  following  corrections  are  required,  viz:  — 

Correction,  page  10,  near  the  bottom. — After  "  the  creek  bed,"  instead  of  "  or 
gulf,"  read  "'while,  westward,  it  crossed  a  deep  ravine  or  gulf  formed  by  a 
stream  flowing  from  the  'Jubilee  '  spring." 

Correction,  page  16. — Second  paragraph:   for  "1849"   read  "  1844." 

Correction, page  19. — For  "August  14"   read  "August  15.' 

Correction,  pp.  13-J4. — It  is  ascertained  that  the  Sherwood  family  buried  in  a  pri- 
vate j^w;<«(/ on  the  farm.  Here  the  vault  was  built,  but  it  has  never  been  used 
for  burials.  Numbers  of  persons  from  the  neighborhood  were  also  interred  in 
this  ground,  all  of  whom  have  been  removed. 

Correction,  page  22,  Jewish  Cemeteiies. — First  paragraph  :  for  "  1839"  read"  1847  ;" 
for  "about  1844,"  read  "in  1849;"  fo''  "William"  ".Sycamore." 

Read  the  second  paragraph  tlius  :  "  The  yacobson  Society  \\2idL  previously  been 
formed,  though  imperfectly  organized  ;  and  had  obtained  the  use  of  the  above 
named  lot,  it  being  then  private  property,  for  burial  purposes.  The  first  person 
interred  here  was  Mrs.  Elias  Bernheimer,  wife  of  the  owner." 

In  the  third  paragraph,  for   "between  1862  and  1865."   read  "in  1861  ?" 

I'  R  E  F  A  C  R. 

In  early  summer  of  1875  1  received  a  note  from  the  late  Alexan- 
der J.  Sheldon,  reciuesting  me  to  write  an  account  of  the  burying 
grounds  of  Buffalo,  and  especially  of  the  soldiers'  graves  within  and 
near  our  city.  He  i)romised  to  do  what  he  could  to  aid  me,  and  I 
finally  consented  to  prepare  the  sketch,  relying  on  his  help  to  put  it 
into  shape  for  publication  as  an  addition  to  tlie  local  history  of 

Mr.  Sheldon,  however,  died  before  we  had  half  the  sketch  pre- 
pared. Since  his  death  I  have  finished  it,  and  now  submit  it  to  the 
public  as  a  plain  statement  of  facts  concerning  the  burial  places  of 
the  dead  in  this  region,  especially  in  early  times. 

I  am  indebted  to  Mr.  Sheldon  for  some  of  the  first  pages,  partic- 
ularly those  concerning  the  burials  on  the  Johnston  lot;  and  for  some 
subsequent  ideas  and  expressions.  I  am  also  indebted  to  Rev.  Albert 
Bigelow  for  valuable  assistance  in  preparing  the  whole  paper  for  the 

In  a  conversation  with  Mr.  Sheldon,  I  learned  that  he  intended  to 
ask  Congress  for  an  appropriation  of  money  to*  erect  a  monument 
to  the  memory  of  the  soldiers  who  lost  their  lives  in  the  war  of  1S12. 
But  though  this  worthy  object  should  not  now  be  accomplished,  1 
trust  that  these  pages  may  nevertheless  help  to  remind  this  and 
other  generations  of  the  fact  that  here,  in  perilous  times,  many  of  our 
brave  defenders  lost   their  lives,   and  found  their  final  resting  place. 



The  formation  of  a  burial-place  is  generally  one  of  the  later  things 
attended  to  in  a  new  settlement,  inasmuch  as  the  utmost  effort 
is  needed  to  supjjort  the  living  and  carry  on  the  necessary  im- 
provements ;  and  unless  there  should  be  death  from  accidental 
causes,  there  are  no  particular  reasons  to  induce  the  pioneers  to  bear 
in  mind  the  fact  that  any  of  them  will  be  cut  off  from  their  labors, 
and  become  the  silent  tenants  of  the  tomb. 

Like  other  settlements  in  Western  New  York,  Buffalo  was  lax  in 
attending  to  the  necessity  of  providing  a  resting  place  for  the  dead  ; 
and  churches  were  organized  and  school  houses  erected  ere  it  seemed 
to  be  noticed  that  death  was  as  likely  to  invade  here  as  elsewhere. 
But,  as  was  even  then  so  certain  to  be  the  case,  the  time  for  these 
duly  arrived. 


Captain  William  Johnston,  a  British  officer,  retired  on  half  pay, 
once  owned  a  tract  of  about  forty  acres  of  land  in  vvhat  is  now  the 
business  center  of  Buffalo.  It  was  bounded  on  the  north  by  Seneca 
street,  west  by  W^ishington  street,  south  by  Little  Buffalo  Creek,  and 
east  by  a  line  which  would  include  the  forty  acres  ;  the  said  line 
running  parallel  with  Washington  street. 

As  this  place,  even  then,  was  the  center  of  business  attraction, 
residents  meeting  there  for  conversation,  very  naturally  the  settle- 
ment increased  about  Johnston's  ;  and  finally  he  laid  out  a  small 
burial  ground  a  few  rods  square  on  his  homestead,  at  the  corner  of 
Crow  (now  Exchange)  and  Washington  streets. 

The  place  was  afterwards  owned  by  the  late  Gen.  Lucius  Storrs, 
and  since  known  as  the  "  Sheldon  place  ;"  and  when  the  Washing- 
ton Block  was  built  in  1873-4,  several  skeletons  were  dug  up  by  the 
laborers  excavating  for  cellars.  The  street  is  now  a  number  of  feet 
below  the  original  surface  of  the  soil  ;  and  the  removal  of  the  earth 
for  cellars  rendered  it  necessary  to  excavate  below  the  bottom  of  the 
deepest  graves. 



As  these  skeletons  were  found  on  the  east  side, of  the  Sheldon  lot, 
there  is  every  reason  to  believe  (and  tradition  deepens  the  impres- 
sion) that  more  are  interred  on  the  next  lot  east,  which  is  now  occu- 
pied by  the  paint  shop  of  J.  Josephs. 

The  house  was  built  by  Mr.  Joseph  D.  Hoyt,  and  afterwards  passed 
into  the  hands  of  Mr.  Waters,  formerly  of  the  firm  of  Kimberly  & 
Waters,  ship  chandlers,  &c.  But  there  has  been  an  ever-changing 
tide  of  occupants  in  the  house.  People  of  every  color  and  nation- 
ality have  lived  here  ;  and  some  of  such  bad  repute  that  it  would 
not  be  surprising  in  the  least  if  the  original  tenants  of  this  ossuary 
had  their  numbers  increased  by  the  sudden  taking  off  of  unsuspect- 
ing persons  decoyed  there  for  purposes  of  plunder  and  murder. 
When  the  building  is  removed,  and  the  lot  excavated  for  larger  cel- 
lars, it  will  not  be  unexpected  if  a  dozen  or  more  skeletons  of 
different  sizes  are  found  on  the  north  end  of  that  and  the  adjacent 
lot,  now  occupied  by  the  old  cabinet  shop  of  Oliver  Pomeroy,  which 
was  erected  in  1832. 

It  is  understood  that  Capt.  Johnston  was  buried  in  his  own  ceme- 
tery in  1807.  The  first  tenant  was  an  infant  son  of  the  Captain  ; 
and  burials  did  not  cease  there  till  several  years  after  the  establish- 
ment of  a  village  burial  place  on  lots  108,  109,  iii,  112,  since  called 
Franklin  Square,  where  now  stands  the  massive  city  and  county 


The  reasons  for  this  change,  which  was  made  at  a  very  early  day, 
were,  first  :  the  title  to  the  Johnston  place  was  yet  in  the 
dower,  and  if  it  was  not  deeded  to  the  village,  there  might  be 
trouble  in  after  years  from  a  change  of  owners.  This  proved 
to  be  the  case  ;  for  John  (or  Jack)  Johnston  (son  of  the  old 
Captain)  who  inherited  the  property,  incumbered  it  by  a  mortgage 
to  Jasper  Parrish  as  agent  and  trustee  of  the  Cayuga  Nation  ;  and 
this  mortgage  not  being  paid,  was  duly  foreclosed,  and  the  place  sold 
in  181 1. 

And  second  :  this  site  was  deemed  to  be  too  near  the  center  of  a 
population  numbering  but  a  few  score, 


This  "Franklin  S([iKirc  "  lot  was  a  central  portion  of  the  then 
beautiful  Terrace,  on  whose  grassy  surface  the  Indians  used  to  re- 
cline, and  view  the  lake  in  all  its  pristine  beauty  ;  a  scene  which  Judge 
Peacock  described  when  he  first  came  on  the  spot  (being  then  nine- 
teen years  of  age),  saying  "  It  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful  views  I 
ever  put  my  eyes  u])on." 

In  the  new  cemetery  the  first  interment  was  that  of  John  Coch- 
rane, a  traveler  from  Connecticut,  who  died  at  liarker's  tavern,  a  log 
house  facing  south,  standing  on  the  Terrace  near  the  corner  and  west 
of  Main  street.  As  a  verbal  consent  had  been  given  by  Mr.  EUicott  to 
use  the  lots,  the  man  from  "the  land  of  steady  habits,"  was  there 
buried;  and  from  that  time  most,  if  not  all,  burials  ceased  in  the  Wash- 
ington street  place,  except  those  of  Johnston's  family  or  relatives  there- 
of. Tradition  says  that  a  very  tall  Indian,  from  his  altitude  termed 
the  "  Infant,"  was  the  second  silent  inhabitant  of  the  village  ceme- 
tery, and  it  soon  became  the  recognized  place  for  burials  ;  though 
with  the  usual  carelessness  of  early  settlers,  the  title  to  it  was  not 
obtained  from  the  Holland  Land  Company  until  1821. 

This  can  easily  be  accounted  for,  as  there  was  no  village  corpora- 
tion to  hold  the  gift  ;  and  after  it  had  been  in  use  some  years,  it  was 
believed  that  the  village  had  a  right  by  possession.  There  was  no 
individual  ownership  of  the  lots  ;  but  persons,  on  application,  had 
family  or  single  lots  assigned  them  by  the  trustees,  until  1832,  when 
burials  as  a  general  thing  were  discontinued  there.  The  last  was  in 
1836,  being  that  of  the  wife  of  Hon.  Samuel  Wilkeson,  a  daughter  of 
Gamaliel  St.  John  ;  and  a  special  permit  was  granted  for  this  purpose. 
The  old  burying  ground  was  remote  from  the  \illage  ])roper,  and 
was  covered  with  a  growth  of  bushes  and  scrub  oak,  with  a  few  larger 
trees.  A  part  of  it  was  used  at  one  time  as  a  site  for  a  small  wooden 
building,  in  which  was  kept  an  infant  school. 

In  addition  to  the  villagers,  those  who  resided  even  as  far  out  as 
the  "  Plains,"  (with  the  exception  of  a  few  families  who  buried  on 
their  own  premises),  brought  their  dead  to  the  general  gathering 
place.  This  irregular  proceeding  was  stopped  as  far  as  the  city  au- 
thority extended  in  1832,  when  the  advent  of  the  cholera  caused 
very  stringent  sanitary  measures  to  be  taken, 


THE    COLD    SPRING    BURYING    GROUND.  prior  to  that  time,  on  the  hill  opposite  "Cold  Spring,"  on 
farm  lot  number  59,  now  the  southwest  corner  of  Delaware  and  Ferry 
streets,  there  was  a  grave-yard  like  that  of  Captain  Johnston.  I  well 
remember  being  present  at  burials  there  when  a  boy.  One  was 
that  of  a  child  of  Mr.  Seth  Granger,  who  lived  on  the  farm  ;  another 
a  child  of  a  Mr.  Caskey.  These  took  place  before  the  war  of  1812. 
Hither  afterwards,  gallant  Job  Hoysington's  mutilated  remains  were 
brought,  when  the  fervid  suns  of  the  spring  after  the  burning  of 
Buffalo  melted  the  snowy  shroud  by  which  he  was  first  covered. 

The  death  of  Hoysington   occurred  as  follows  :  On   the   morning 
of  December  30,  1813,  he  took  his  rifle  and  went  to  meet  the  British 
as  they  came  marching  up  the  river  near  the  Grand   Battery.     He, 
with  Capt.  Hull's    Buffalonians,  stood  their  ground   well  ;  but    the 
three  thousand  and  odd  of  new   levies   fled   precipitately   and  left  a 
few  hundred  to  face  as   many    Indians,   and  over   a   thousand  disci- 
plined British  regulars.     For  a  brief  period  they  contested  the  field  ; 
but,  seeing  they  were  flanked,  they  retreated.     Hoysington  lingered, 
withdrew  a  little,  stopped,  and  said  :   "  I  will  have  one  more  shot   at 
them,"  and  that  was  the  last  that  was  known  of  him  till  the  following 
spring,  when  his  remains   were   found   beside  a  log  not  far  from  the 
late  Frederick  Gridley's  residence  on  North  street,  one  or  two  blocks 
west  of  the  Normal  school   building.     A  bullet  had  perforated,  and 
a  tomahawk  had  cleft,  his   skull  ;  while  his  scalp  was   torn  from  his 
bleeding  head  as   a  trophy   of  savage  con([uest,  and  token  of   Brit- 
ish inhumanity.      His  faithful    rifle   lay  empty   by   his   side,   and   no 
doubt  his   death   was   avenged   ere  it   occurred.     His  remains  were 
interred  in  this  rural   cemetery,  and   there  they   remained   till  1850, 
when  most  of  the  bones  of  the  nearly  one  hundred  persons  buried 
there,    were    exhumed,    placed    in    boxes,  and    removed   to  a   se- 
cure place   in   "  Forest    Lawn."     Among  these    relics,    the   skull  of 
the  mighty  marksman  was  at  once  recognized  by  the  injuries   it   had 
received,  and  many  noticed  it  ;  but   during  the   confusion   incident 
to  a  removal,  some  one  surreptitiously  carried  off  this  relic  of  Job 
Hoysington.     It   is  doubtless    in    the  possession   of  some   curiosity 
monger  of  the  city,  but    "  who  has  it  ?  "  has  often  been  asked  in  vain. 


This  ground  was  never  formally  granted  for  a  cemetery,  but  by  the 
consent  of  the  owner  was  used  for  that  purpose  by  the  few  families 
residing  in  the  neighborhood. 

In  the  grading  and  widening  of  Ferry  street,  in  1876,  at  the  corner 
we  are  speaking  of,  there  were  some  bones,  but  no  entire  skeletons, 
plowed  up.  Having  learned  that  there  was  no  one  appointed  by 
the  proper  authorities  of  our  city  to  look  after  these  relics  of  early 
settlers  and  soldiers,  who  seem  to  have  had  none  on  the  face  of  the 
earth  to  care  for  them,  I  took  pains  to  collect  from  time  to  time  all 
that  were  found,  carried  them  to  Forest  Lawn,  and  had  them  buried 
with  the  others  that  had  been  taken  there. 


About  the  year  1830,  Hon.  Lewis  F.  Allen  boXight  of  Judge  Eben- 
ezer  Walden  on  his  own  account,  five  acres  situated  on  the  south- 
west corner  of  Delaware  and  North  streets,  and  east  of  Bowery 
street.  He  then  formed  an  association  consisting  of  the  following 
persons,  viz.:  Lewis  F.  Allen,  George  B.  Webster,  Russell  H.  Hey- 
wood,  Heman  B.  Potter  and  Hiram  Pratt,  as  trustees,  and  had  it 
surveyed  into  lots  by  Joseph  Clary,  Esq.  A  considerable  number 
of  lots  were  sold  ;  but  the  smallness  of  the  plot  and  the  fact  that 
the  southern  part  was  full  of  springs,  prevented  many  improvements  ; 
and  most  of  the  bodies  deposited  there  have  been  removed  to  Forest 
Lawn,  and  the  property  is  now  held  by  the  Forest  Lawn  Associa- 
tion. It  is  not  at  all  likely  that  any  more  burials  will  ever  take  place 
there,  as  they  are  prohibited  by  a  law  of  the  state,  and  the  lots 
around  are  occupied  by  beautiful  residences. 

THE    potter's    field. 

In  1832,  in  anticipation  of  the  cholera  visiting  Buffalo,  which  had 
just  put  on  "city  airs,"  burials  in  the  old  village  (Franklin  Square) 
cemetery  having  been  prohibited,  except  by  special  permission  of  the 
council,  it  was  deemed  desirable  to  obtain  another  and  more  remote 
situation  to  be  ready  in  case  any  sudden  pestilence  should  demand 
increased  room  for  the  dead.  Accordingly  I  sold  to  the  city  five  acres 
of  farm  lot  No.  30,  lying  between  North  and  Best  streets,  and  west  of 
Prospect  street,  for  a  "  Potter's  Field,"  or  common  burial  place  ;  and  a 


portion  of  it  was  set  apart  for  the   Roman  Catholics  so  that  it  could 
be  consecrated  according  to  their  belief  and  form. 


When  the  lands  comprising  the  South  Village  of  Black  Rock  were 
surveyed  in  1804  or  1805,  there  were  two  blocks,  Nos.  41  and  42,  ap- 
propriated by  the  state  for  burial  purposes.  These,  however,  were 
found  to  be  too  low,  and  hence  not  suitable  ;  many,  therefore  carried 
their  dead  even  to  the  "  Franklin  Square  "  ground  ;  and  when  Black 
Rock  village  was  incorporated.  Col.  William  A.  Bird,  in  behalf  of  the 
corporation,  procured  the  exchange  of  those  two  lots  for  one  situated 
on  higher  ground  ;  being  lot  No.  88  on  North  street,  since  known 
as  the  Black  Rock  Burying  Ground.  This  lot  was  bounded  by  Jer- 
sey, Pennsylvania^  and  Fourteenth  streets,  and  the  mile  strip  or 
what  is  now  "The  Avenue." 

When  the  "Guide  Board  Road"  (now  North  street)  was  worked 
through,  this  lot  was  cut  in  twain,  and  a  small  triangle  was  left  on 
the  south  side,  in  the  old  limits  of  Buffalo  City.  This  small  lot,  by 
an  arrangement  with  the  Black  Rock  authorities,  was  used  as  a  Pot- 
ter's field  for  the  unfortunates  who  died  at  the  Poor-house  ;  this 
building  being  a  little  to  the  west  of  it,  next  to  the  church  of 
the  Holy  Angels,  and  now  used  for  the  Parish  School.  In 
this  little  spot  of  ground  have  been  doubtless  laid  without  a 
pitying  eye  to  weep  over  their  wreck,  or  a  friendly  hand  to  raise  a 
tablet  to  their  memory,  as  noble  persons  as  have  ever  existed  ;  but 
poverty  and  misfortune  blighted  their  prospects,  and  they  became 
dependents  on  the  bounty  of  their  fellow-creatures. 

Many  a  time  have  I  pondered  over  the  unmarked  hillocks  here 
and  thought  what  tales  could  be  revealed  were  the  history  of  the  un- 
known and  unnoted  dead  under  my  feet  made  up  into  a  living  record. 
But  they  were  not  permitted  to  rest  in  peace.  The  City  of  Buf- 
falo a  few  years  since  fenced  in  the  lot,  and  desecrated  the  spot  by 
using  it  as  a  public  pound.  Could  no  other  vacant  place  be  found, 
that  even  a  pauper  might  not  be  allowed  to  rest  here  without  having 
his  last  hold  on  earth  made  the  stamping  place  for  vagrant  cattle  ? 

The  main  lot  was  used  for  years  by  the  inhabitants  of  Black  Rock  ; 
but  burials  having  been   discontinued  for   some   time,   the  land  was 


conveyed  to  that  noble  institution  the  Charity  Foundation  of  the 
Episcopal  Church.  As  in  the  Franklin  Square  and  North  Street 
Public  Cemeteries  there  were  no  private  lots  here,  but  places  were 
assigned  by  the  authorities. 

When  the  Forest  Lawn  Cemetery  was  established,  in  1850,  many 
families  bought  lots  and  removed  their  dead  from  this  ground. 
Since  then,  in  grading  Rogers  street  many  graves  were  dug  up,  and 
the  bones  collected  and  removed  to  Forest  Lawn.  And  within 
the  last  few  years,  in  grading  "The  Circle  "  which  takes  in  most  of 
this  old  burying  ground,  many  more  have  been  dug  out  and  deposited 
there.  More  still  remain  which  should  l)e  properly  taken  care  of. 
Although  I  ever  disapprove  of  the  practice  of  our  city  rulers  in  dis- 
turbing and  removing  the  bones  from  our  old  burying  grounds,  yet 
in  this  case  it  seems  to  be  a  matter  of  public  necessity  ;  and  as  part 
have  been  removed  they  may  as  well  all  be. 

One  grave  in  this  spot  was  that  of  Capt.  James  Rough,  a  man  of 
some  note  in  early  days,  but  now  nearly  forgotten,  who  was  buried  here 
in  1828.  This  noble-hearted  man  was  one  of  the  captains  who  early 
sailed  on  our  lakes.  I  believe  he  had  no  relatives  in  this  country,  but 
many  true-hearted  friends,  who,  after  his  checkered  life  was  ended, 
buried  his  body  with  becoming  honor  and  respect.  One,  a  country- 
man of  his,  a  Scotchman,  the  eccentric  Major  Donald  Frazer,  to  ex- 
press the  esteem  in  which  he  was  held  by  all,  placed  a  stone  at  the 
head  of  his  grave,  on  which  was  cut  the  f6llowing  inscription  and 
quaint  epitaph  : 

Here  lies  the  body  of 


A   Son  of  Auld    Scotia,   who   died 

Dec.  4th,  1828,  aged  60. 

A  Highland  man's  son  placed  this  stone  in 

Remembrance  of  his  Friend. 

Here,  moored  beneath  this  willow  tree, 
Lies  Honor.  Worth,  and  Integrity, 
More  1  might  add.  but  'tis  enough; 
'Twas  centered  all  in  Honest  Rough, 
With  such  as  he  where  e'er  he  be, 
May  I  be  saved  or  damn'd. 

Capt.  Rough's  remains  were  removed  by  our  honored  townsman 
John  T.  Lacy,  April  26th,  1869,  to  the  lot  in  Forest  Lawn,  where 
those  from  the  old  burying  ground  of   Franklin  Scpiare  were  placed. 


They  now  lie  near  the  large  monument  in  the  center  of  this  lot,  by 
the  side  of  Captain  Dox,  an  officer  in  the  United  States  Army  dur- 
ing the  war  of  1812,  and  who  was  some  years  after  (in  1822  I  be- 
lieve) appointed  Collector  of  the  Port  of  Buffalo. 

The  exact  time  when  burials  began  in  this  Black  Rock  burying 
ground,  on  North  street,  is  not  now  certainly  known.  There  were 
two  families  at  least  at  Black  Rock  who  buried  on  their  own  prem- 
ises, those  of  (ien.  Peter  B.  Porter  and  Ethan  Ludlow.  The  bodies 
of  Gen.  Porter's  family  were  subsequently  removed  to  Niagara  Falls. 
The  bodies  of  the  family  of  Mr.  Ludlow,  were  removed  to  the 
"  Mathews  and  Wilcox  "  burying  ground  on  the  hill,  (see  below, 
page  II,)  and  subsequently  to  Forest  Lawn.  By  some  it  is  thought 
that  burials  began  there  soon  after  the  war  of  181 2-15  ;  others 
as  late  as  1826.  But  from  what  I  can  learn,  the  most  reason- 
able conclusion  is  that  there  were  some  burials  there  as  early  as  1820 
or  soon  after.  Col.  William  A.  Bird  says,  "probably  as  early  as  1825 
at  least."  Cyrus  H.  DeForest  says,  "I  helped  to  bury  a  friend 
there  in  1827,  and  there  were  quite  a  large  number  of  graves  there 
before  that  time." 


There  was  a  place  on  what  was  known  as  the  "  Bidwell  Farm  " 
where  the  dead  were  buried  before  the  "  Guide  Board  Road  "  (or 
North  street)  ground  above  mentioned  was  opened.  It  will  be  of 
interest  to  say,  just  here,  that  the  "  Guide  Board  Road  "  spoken  of 
above  and  on  page  8,  was  in  the  early  days,  the  only  wagon  approach 
to  Black  Rock  from  the  eastward  ;  communication  with  Buffalo  be- 
ing mostly  by  the  way  of  the  beach  of  the  lake,  until  Niagara  street 
was  opened,  about  the  year  1809  ;  a  guide  post  stood  for  many 
years  at  the  southwest  corner  of  Main  street  and  this  road, 
pointing  the  traveler's  way  to  the  aspiring  village  of  Black  Rock  ; 
hence  the  name  of  the  road.  The  Bidwell  farm  was  situated  on  the 
old  "  Gulf  Road,"  answering  to  what  is  now^  Delevan  avenue.  This 
road  crossed  Main  street  just  south  of  the  bridge  over  Conjockety 
creek,  and  passing  east,  in  a  few  rods  crossed  the  creek  bed,  or  gulf, 
and  from  this  circumstance  obtained  its  name.  The  farm  lay  quite 
a  distance  west  of  Main  street,  back  of  the  village   of  Black  Rock, 


and  in  the  burial  i)laro   here   set   apart,  interments   were  made  from 
1811  to  1825. 


Another  private  cemetery  enterprise  was  set  on  foot  by  General 
Sylvester  Mathews  and  Birdseye  Wilcox,  about  1833  or  1834.  They 
laid  out  twelve  acres  for  the  purpose,  on  farm  lot  No.  30,  next 
to  the  five  acres  which  the  city  had  purchased  in  1832  for  the  Potter's 
Field.  This  twelve  acre  field  was  improved,  and  lots  sold  to  different 
individuals  ;  and  as  the  land  was  more  desirable  than  that  on  the 
corner  of  Delaware  and  North  streets,  there  w^as  considerable  atten- 
tion paid  to  decorations  and  monuments,  until  Forest  Lawn  was  for- 
mally established  ;  and  then  for  a  time  but  little  interest  appeared 
to  be  taken  in  this.  I  am  happy,  however,  to  state  that  a  better 
feeling  now  prevails  ;  that  the  grounds  are  carefully  tended,  and  do 
not  look  so  deserted  and  comfortless  as  they  did  a  score  of  years  ago. 

The  Hodge  family  purchased  two  lots  in  this  place,  and  paid  for 
them  by  furnishing  and  planting  yellow  locust  trees  along  the  outer 
edge  of  the  whole,  and  on  each  side  of  the  walks  and  carriage  ways. 
Before  that,  this  burying  ground  having  been  originally  used  for  agri- 
cultural purposes,  was  of  a  barren  appearance,  being  entirely  destitute 
of  trees  and  shrubbery.  I'hose  locust  trees  were  therefore  at  that 
time  thought  to  be  a  very  desirable  acquisition,  as  they  grew  quickly 
They  yet  remain  as  specimens  of  the  taste  of  a  former  generation  ; 
yet  we  cannot  but  think  what  a  magnificent  grove  the  place  would 
now  have  been,  if  graceful  elms  had  been  chosen  for  planting. 

In  1853,  the  lot  owners,  finding  that  Mathews  and  Wilcox  neglected 
to  care  for  the  property,  opened  negotiations  for  the  purchase  of  the 
remaining  rights,  which  was  duly  effected  by  the  lot  owners  raising 
a  subscription  therefor  ;  and  in  1854,  an  association  was  incorporated 
under  the  name  of  the  "  Buffalo  Cemetery  Association."  The  new 
company  paid  the  old  i)roprietors  the  sum  of  $5,000  for  all  their  in- 
terest therein,  and  since  that  a  steady  imi)rovement,  as  has  been 
mentioned,  has  been  noticeable. 


Forest  Lawn  Cemetery  is  unquestionably  the  finest  in  this  section 
,  of  the  state,  and  under  the  new   organization  will   doubtless  always 


be  a  permanent  one.  It  was  first  laid  out  under  the  name  above 
given,  by  Charles  E.  Clarke,  Esq.,  in  1849,  who  purchased,  for  the 
purpose,  of  Rev.  James  N.  Granger,  and  his  brother  Warren  Gran- 
ger, about  80  acres  of  land  at  $150  per  acre.  The  grounds  were 
planned  by  Mr.  Clarke  on  a  most  liberal  scale,  and  with  all  modern 

But  it  having  been  deemed  desirable  that  the  citizens  should 
more  generally  be  interested  in  it  and  that  its  many  interests  and 
rights  should  not  be  committed  to  the  care  of  one  individual  no 
matter  how  trustworthy,  an  organization  was  effected  in  1864,  under 
the  title  of  the  "  Buffalo  City  Cemetery  Association,"  which  pur- 
chased the  rights  and  privileges  of  Mr.  Clarke,  with  all  the  unsold 
lots,  so  as  to  enlarge  it  to  its  present  size,  about  240  acres,  being  all 
that  will  be  required  for  generations.  The  beautiful  name,  "  Forest 
Lawn  "  is  therefore  now  not  its  legal,  but  its  popular  designation — 
which,  however,  it  will  doubtless  retain  for  all  time  to  come. 

As  is  well  known,  this  cemetery  is  located  on  the  Conjockety 
Creek  about  two  and  a  half  miles  from  the  court  house  square,  or 
the  center  of  the  business  part  of  the  city,  and  between  Delaware 
and  Main  streets,  each  of  which  gives  a  noble  approach.  The 
grounds  are  divided  about  equally  into  forest  aid  lawn,  table  and 
broken  land,  and  a  succession  of  knolls  running  parallel  with  the 
creek  from  southeast  to  northwest  ;  giving  a  variety  of  approach 
that  is  not  often  found  in  similar  places.  It  is  truly  by  nature  a 
lovely  spot  ;  and  is  exceedingly  beautiful  since  laid  out  and  occu- 
pied. And  the  extensive  as  well  as  costly  improvements  that  have 
been  and  will  be  made  in  its  vicinity,  have  rendered  its  surroundings 
correspondingly  beautiful.  The  great  park  adjoins  it,  and  next  are 
the  extensive  grounds  of  the  Insane  Asylum  ;  so  that  a  large  portion 
of  the  territory  drained  by  the  Coniockety,  from  Main  street  to  near 
the  state  dam,  across  the  creek,  is,  and  always  will  be,  public  ground. 

The  first  interment  in  Forest  Lawn  was  that  of  John  Lay, 
Jr.,  who  died  on  the  tenth  day  of  July,  1850,  aged  60  years.  He 
was  a  most  worthy  citizen,  who  had  been  at  one  time  distinguished 
for  his  great  mercantile  ability  ;  but  he  went  down  in  the  crash  of 
fortunes  of  1836,  and  ever  after  lived   a  retired  life.     Early   in  the    » 


inception  of  the  improvements  at  Forest  Lawn,  he  visited  the  place, 
and  pointed  out  a  certain  knoll  where  he  wished  to  be  interred  when 
he  should  die  ;  when  that  event  occurred,  the  liberal-hearted  pro- 
prietor donated  that  spot  to  the  family.  And  so  it  came  about  that 
late  one  summer  afternoon,  July  12,  1850,  thec^uietof  the  place  was 
broken  by  the  entrance  of  the  first  funeral  train,  and  at  the  going 
down  of  the  sun.  as  the  earth  closed  over  the  mortal  remains  of 
John  Lay,  Jr.,  the  peopling  commenced  of  this  new  Necropolis  of 
the  city  of  the  lakes.  On  that  occasion  were  heard  for  the  first  time 
in  this  cemetery,  the  words  of  the  lofty  and  imjjressive  burial  ser- 
vice of  the  Episcopal  church,  as  Mr.  Lay  was  consigned  to  his  final 
resting  place,  under  the  direc-tion  of  him  who  had  performed  this 
office  for  two  generations  of  his  fellow  citizens  ;  I  mean  the  late  Mr. 
Loring  Pierce,  so  many  years  our  "City  Sexton."  '  Since  then,  how 
rapidly  has  been  fulfilled  the  saying  of  the  good  and  venerable  rec- 
tor of  St.  Paul's  Cathedral,  who  officiated  at  that  time,  and,  as  he 
surveyed  the  jjlace,  bethinking  him  of  its  intended  purpose,  exclaim- 
ed, "What  a  flood  of  grief  will  here  be  poured  out  ;"  for  a  contin- 
ual tide  of  departed  citizens  has  set  thitherward.  It  is  worthy  of 
remark  that  those  who  first  deemed  it  too  remote  and  unfavorable  a 
location,  are  now  foremost  in  beautifying  it,  and  making  it  a  place 
of  attraction,  rather  than  of  dread.  It  is  the  cemetery  of  Buffalo  ; 
and  is  especially  so  for  all  those  who  are  not  attached  to  the  Romish 
or  Jewish  faith.  To  this  beautiful  spot,  the  bodies  of  those  interred 
in  the  village  burying  ground  on  Franklin  street,  were  removed  ; 
many  by  the  hands  of  loving  kindred  were  laid  beside  others  of  their 
families  ;  while  those  who  were  unrecognized,  and  had  none  to  care 
for  them,  were  interred  in  a  place  apart,  and  a  suitable  monument 
erected  over  them. 

Some  families  have  removed  their  dead  from  the  Mathews  and 
Wilcox  and  the  Delaware  and  North  street  grounds,  to  Forest  Lawn  ; 
also  some  who  buried  on  their  own  lands  between  the  city  and  the 
Plains.  Of  those  who  interred  originally  on  their  own  premises, 
and  have  had  the  bodies  removed,  I  mention  Col.  William  W.  Chapin, 
Judge  Erastus  Granger,  John  Collins,  William  Hodge,  Benjamin 
Hodge,  Sr.,  Benjamin  Hodge,  Jr.,  and  Mrs.  Ward  Cotton.  Neither 
the  Sherwoods  nor  Mrs.  Rudolph  Atkins'  family  have  removed  their 


dead  ;  those  of  the  latter  rest  at  the  "  Old  Homestead "  on  the 
Plains  ;  of  the  former  in  a  stone  vault  on  the  Sherwood  farm  oppo- 

Forest  Lawn  contains  a  number  of  public  remembrancers  of  the 
dead,  as  well  as  many  private  monuments  and  mausoleums.  Among 
the  former  is  a  plain  obelisk,  erected  in  the  center  of  a  large  square 
of  ground  containing  those  of  the  early  dead  who  were  removed 
from  Franklin  square.  On  it  is  a  suitable  inscription  to  their  mem- 
ory. A  beautiful  shaft  has  also  been  erected  to  commemorate  our 
firemen  in  the  new  part  of  the  ground  near  the  head  of  Linwood 
avenue.  In  the  old  part  there  is  a  monument  for  Colonel  Fay,  an 
officer  prominent  in  military  affairs  some  thirty  years  ago  ;  and 
another  to  General  Bidwell,  an  officer  killed  during  the  civil  war. 
Not  far  from  them  there  is  a  memorial  erected  by  our  patriotic 
townsman  Hon.  Elbridge  G.  Spaulding,  commemorating  heroes  of 
the  Revolutionary  war.  These  various  structures  are  rich  in  mate- 
rial, and  fine  specimens  of  the  elaborate  work  of  the  architect  and 


On  the  high  ground  of  the  Granger  farm  between  Forest  Lawn 
proper,  and  the  old  homestead  of  that  farm,  there  was  formerly  a 
circular  mound  that  contained  many  human  bones.  Here,  when  a 
boy,  sixty  years  ago,  I  used  to  pick  up  bits  of  bones.  There  were 
then  no  entire  ones,  but  a  large  quantity  of  small  pieces  that  had 
been  plowed  over  and  over  again.  When  buried,  they  must  have 
had  but  a  slight  covering  of  earth.  Among  the  pieces  were  found 
some  entire  sound  teeth.  Tradition  said  at  that  time  that  there  had 
been  a  battle  fought  near  there,  by  a  race  of  people  inhabiting  this 
country,  very  many  years  since,  and  long  before  the  Senecas  pos- 
sessed it  ;  as  they  have  no  knowledge  of  this  race  of  people,  and 
know  nothing  about  how  those  bones  came  there. 
soldiers'  burial  places. 

It  is  in  the  memory  of  some  yet  living  that  the  American  bank  of 
Niagara  River  at  Black  Rock  and  the  banks  of  Conjockety  Creek 
adjacent,  were  the  grounds  of  several  hard  contested  battles  in  which 
many  were  killed  and  afterwards  buried  on  the  battle-field.     Many 


also  were  buried  here  who  died  of  sickness  in  the  barracks  of  our 
(irand  Battery  and  in  the  barracks  on  the  bank  of  Conjockety 
Creek.  There  is  no  doubt  that  .hundreds  of  unknown  soldiers  are 
buried  here,  and  as  these  grounds  have  been  plowed  over  and  over 
again  it  is  impossible  to  detect  their  individual  resting  places  until 
excavations  are  made.  There  ought  certainly  to  be  some  provision 
for  reinterring  them  when  found.  The  remains  of  many  are  also 
scattered  along  the  line  of  Main  street  from  Flint  Hill  to  the  Ter- 
race. All  these  grounds  are  thickly  strewn  with  the  relics  of  a  for- 
mer war.  Bones  of  soldiers  have  been  exhumed  within  the  last  few 
years  at  the  junction  of  Lafayette  and  Washington  streets.  They 
also  have  been  found  on  the  Terrace  near  St.  Joseph's  College  and 
on  the  bank  of  the  river  at  Black  Rock,  and  in  various  places  on 
Main  street,  and  have  been  thrown  about  as  playthings  for  "  Peter- 
kin  and  Wilhelmine  "  as  mentioned  by  Southey  in  his  poem  of  "  The 
Battle  of  Blenheim."  Time  and  the  march  of  improvement  alone 
can  bring  to  light  the  bones  of  the  majority  of  our  dead  soldiers,  as 
the  government  was  not  so  careful  of  them  formei-ly  as  now. 

It  would  of  course  be  impossible  for  me  to  identify  all  the  places 
in  this  region  where  our  nation's  dead  have  been  buried.  I  may, 
however,  point  out  some  of  the  most  prominent  ones. 

The  Terrace. — During  the  war  of  181 2,  or  as  it  was  for  a  long 
time  generally  styled,  the  "  Last  War,"  there  were  many  soldiers, 
and  doubtless  some  military  attaches  of  the  army,  buried  in  and 
about  the  Terrace.  There  was  a  battery  erected  on  the  Terrace  to 
defend  the  water  approach  by  the  channel  of  the  creek  near  the 
opening  about  the  foot  of  Genesee  street.  By  this  approach,  the 
wounded  in  the  various  contests  of  18 14  were  brought  to  the  hospi- 
tal on  the  Terrace,  and  the  dead  of  the  hospital  were  buried  near  it. 

I  well  remember,  that  when  Church  and  Delaware  streets  were 
graded,  many  skeletons  were  dug  up  during  the  progress  of  the 
work  ;  and  one  was  in  a  coffin,  and  had  military  trappings  on,  that 
indicated  the  wearer  to  have  been  a  lieutenant  in  the  army. 

Sandy  To7vn. — In  1814,  when  our  army  held  Fort  Erie,  the  ferry- 
ing place  across  the  river  was  near  Sandy  Town,  which  was  quite  a 
noted  place.     A  number  of  wooden   houses  had  been   built  in  rear 


of  the  beach  behind  the  immense  sand  hills  that  existed  in  the  early 
part  of  the  century.  Some  of  them  were  used  as  hospitals  for  the 
sick  and  wounded  as  they  were  brought  from  Canada,  and  the  dead 
were  buried  in  the  sand  banks  adjacent.  Many  bodies  were  washed 
out  into  the  lake  in  after  years.  I  have  often  seen  them  lying  there 
exposed  to  the  gaze  of  the  passer  by,  and  human  bones  were  even 
tossed  carelessly  about  with  gibes  and  sneers  by  those  engaged  in 
carting  sand  to  Buffalo. 

As  late  as  1830,  it  was  a  common  thing  for  the  school  boys  to  go 
there  on  a  Saturday  afternoon  and  dig  for  relics, — buttons,  bullets, 
&c.;  and  often  they  exhumed  the  bones  perhaps  of  those  to  whom 
these  belonged,  and  frequently  portions  of  muskets,  grape-shot, 
and  other  war-like  materials  were  dug  up  ;  but  the  great  storm  of 
October,  1849,  washed  everything  away  down  to  the  soil,  and  there 
were  plainly  to  be  seen  the  traces  of  the  line  of  huts,  the  founda- 
tions of  the  chimneys,  officers'  quarters,  &c.  All  now  is  changed, 
and  we  doubt  if  a  single  relic  of  the  war  could  be  found  there. 

Conjockefv  Creek. — While  our  Kentucky  Riflemen  were  stationed 
on  the  south  bank  of  Conjockety  Creek,  in  18 14,  there  were  many 
graves  made  near  by  for  those  who  sickened  and  died,  and  also  for 
those  that  were  killed  in  the  battle  that  took  place  there  in  that 
year,  the  firing  of  guns  in  which  battle,  I  distinctly  remember 
hearing.  There  were  some  killed  both  of  the  British  and  our  own 
men,  and  their  bodies  were  buried  there.  Those  soldier  graves  have 
all  since  been  leveled.     No  mark  is  left  to  designate  them. 

Black  Rock. — Many  graves  were  on  or  near  the  premises  of  Col. 
William  A.  Bird,  Sr.  In  the  battle  of  July  nth,  1813,  at  Black 
Rock,  in  which  Col.  Bishop  was  killed,  and  Capt.  Saunders  was 
wounded  and  taken  prisoner  by  our  men,  there  were  eight  British 
and  three  American  soldiers  killed  ;  and  they  were  buried  on  the 
brow  of  the  river  bank  back  of  Col.  Bird's  house.  From  his  resi- 
dence, south  as  far  as  Albany  street,  there  were  at  the  close  of  the 
war  many  grave-mounds,  which  since  that  time  have  all  been  leveled. 
In  fact  I  am  informed  by  those  who  were  there  at  the  close  of  the 
war,  that  there  were   very   few    vacant   lots  in  Black  Rock,  between 


Conjockety  Creek  and  what   is  now   Fort    Porter  that  did  not  con- 
tain some  soldiers'  graves. 

The  Grave  in  the  ''''Park  Afeadcnu." — Gen.  Smyth's  Regulars  were 
encamped  in  the  fall  and  winter  of  181 2,  on  "  Flint  Hill."  This 
hill,  already  mentioned,  (page  15)  is  a  rise  of  ground  over  which 
Main  street  passes,  from  the  crossing  of  the  Parkway  north  to  Chapin 
street.  Its  name  was  derived  from  the  fact  that  the  rock  here  and  in 
the  region  round  about  comes  very  near  to  the  surface,  and  even 
frequently  crops  out  above  it.  Including  and  beyond  it  northeastward 
were  the  Buffalo  Plains  mentioned  herein  (page  5  and  elsewhere.) 
The  troops  of  General  Smyth  remained  at  Flint  Hill  until  the  follow- 
ing spring.  During  this  time,  there  ])revailed  among  them 
a  typhoid  epidemic.  Deprived  as  they  were  of  comfortable 
hospitals,  and  a  sufficient  supply  of  medical  agents,  it  carried 
off  about  three  hundred  of  them.  They  were  put  into  plain  pine 
board  coffins,  furnishd  by  William  Hodge,  Sr.,  and  temporarily 
buried  near  the  south  line  of  the  Chapin  place  ;  but  the  rock  came  so 
near  to  the  surface  that  their  graves  could  not  be  more  than  about  a 
foot  in  depth.  The  ensuing  spring  they  were  removed  some  dis- 
tance, to  the  north  side  of  the  farm,  where  the  ground  was  a  sandy 
loam  and  easily  dug.  Leave  to  bury  them  there  being  given  by  the 
respective  owners  of  the  farms,  Capt.  Rowland  Cotton,  and  Doctor 
Daniel  Chapin,  they  were  deposited  directly  on  the  dividing  line  be- 
tween these  farms,  in  one  common  grave.  Doctor  Chapin  planted 
two  yellow  willows,  one  at  each  end  of  the  grave,  which  have  be- 
come large  trees,  and  are  yet  growing  ;  the  grave  itself  remaining 
undisturbed  to  this  day. 

The  Government  ought  to  erect  a  handsome  monument  to  their 
memory  ;  and  while  this  would  commemorate  these  unknown  sol- 
diers who  gave  up  their  lives  in  a  more  horrible  manner  than  on  the 
ensanguined  battle-field,  it  would  ornament  the  Park,  in  which  en- 
closure they  are  ;  the  grave  being  about  eighty  rods  north-north-west 
from  the  Park  stone  quarry,  not  far  from  the  middle  of  the  Park 

Dr.  Chapin's  place  was  owned  and  occupied  by  the  Chapin  family, 
from  a  very  early  day  until  not  many  years  since,  when  it  was  sold 


to  the  present  owner,  Elam  R.  Jewett,  Esq.  The  people  of  this 
city  are  much  indebted  to  the  Doctor,  who  was  one  of  the  pioneers 
of  Buffalo,  for  the  good  taste  and  judgment  exercised  in  clearing 
up  his  farm.  Coming  on  to  it  in  1806,  and  ever  having  an  eye  to 
the  beauty  of  native  scenery  and  landscape,  he  left  and  always  pre- 
served with  care,  groups  and  scattered  trees  of  various  sizes  and 
kinds,  where  it  would  add  to  its  beauty  ;  and  we  in  our  park  enjoy 
the  benefit  of  his  sentiment  and  forbearance.  He  was  imbued  with 
the  idea  of  the  poet  who  says,  "Woodman,  spare  that  tree;"  and 
when  he  could,  he  always  had  trees  left  untouched  by  the  ruthless 
axe,  in  order  that  man  and  beast  should  benefit  by  their  shade,  and 
they  with  their  primitive  grace  ornament  his  beautiful  farm.  His  son, 
the  late  Col.  William  W.  Chapin,  always  protected  and  preserved 
those  trees  with  truly  reverential  and  pious  care,  in  memory  of  and 
respect  for  his  honored  father,  who  left  the  inheritance  of  the  whole 
farm  to  him  on  his  decease.  Without  that  inherited  taste,  he,  like 
most  of  the  early  settlers,  would  have  denuded  the  land  of  every 
tree  ;  and  that  portion  of  our  park  would  have  been  a  barren  ex- 
panse of  mere  farming  land  ;  for  a  large  portion  of  this  old  farm 
now  constitutes  the  most  interesting  part  of  our  beautiful  park.  As 
one  rides  through  it,  especially  that  portion  I  speak  of,  he  cannot 
help  noticing  those  groups  of  trees  and  scattered  monarchs  of  the 
forest  within  and  on  the  borders  of  the  extensive  Park  Meadow  ; 
beautiful  reminders  of  those  thoughtful  and  tasteful  former  proprie- 

In  this  connection  it  would  not  be  right  to  omit  a  notice  of  the 
soldiers'  burial  place  at 

Williamsville. — About  six  thousand  of  our  army  raised  during  the 
first  year  of  the  war  of  1812-15  and  sent  on  to  protect  our  fron- 
tier at  Buffalo,  went  into  winter  quarters  at  Williamsville  village, 
eleven  miles  north  of  Buffalo.  Their  encampment  at  that  place  was 
just  north  of  the  main  road,  and  contiguous  to  the  village,  on  the  ex- 
tensive premises  then  owned  by  the  enterprising  merchant  and 
milling  firm  of  Juba  Storrs  &  Co.  This  ground  continued  to  be  oc- 
cupied by  our  soldiers  more  or  less  during  the  war.  Sickness  as  is 
usual  in  camp  prevailed  among  them  ;  and  some  two  or  three  hun- 


dred  died  and  were  buried  on  the  grounds  adjacent.  Since  then  the 
village  has  spread,  covering  the  ground  where  they  were  buried,  and 
long  since  not  a  vestige  of  a  grave  was  left  to  be  seen.  There  has 
been  no  one  to  look  after  or  care  for  their  bones  when  e.\humed,  as 
they  often  were,  in  excavating  cellars  or  making  improvements  such 
as  are  necessary  in  a  growing  village. 

There  were  quite  extensive  barracks  built  on  the  bank  of  the 
Eleven  Mile  Creek,  a  very  healthy,  eligible  place  ;  it  being  retired 
from  the  immediate  scenes  of  conflict  and  about  one  mile  above  the 
village.  It  continued  to  be  our  General  Hospital  for  sick  and 
wounded  soldiers  during  this  war. 

During  the  three  years  of  the  conflict,  many  of  our  soldiers  died, 
and  were  buried  at  the  side  of  a  field  near  by.  The  ground  that 
contains  their  remains  comprises  about  half  an  acre,  lying  on  the 
southwesterly  side  of  a  public  road  ;  the  Eleven  Mile  Creek  running 
parallel  and  adjoining. 

Two  of  our  townsmen.  Col.  John  Bliss  and  John  B.  Evans,  feeling 
an  interest  that  this  ground  should  never  be  disturbed  or  encroached 
upon,  procured  the  title  by  a  warranty  deed  from  the  owners,  John 
Haskel  and  wife,  to  themselves,  dated  August  6th,  185 1,  and  duly 
recorded.  They  have  both  since  deceased,  leaving  the  title  in  their 
heirs.  The  number  of  our  own  soldiers  buried  on  this  ground  is 
supposed  to  be  three  hundred  or  more  ;  and  in  one  retired  corner 
lie  nearly  one  hundred  of  our  enemies  who  were  wounded,  taken  pris- 
oners and  died.  Many  of  the  latter  were  captured  at  the  desperate 
sortie  the  British  made  on  Fort  Erie  August  14,  1814,  and  the 
blowing  up  of  the  magazine.  There  were  several  hundred  prisoners 
taken  at  this  encounter  ;  many  of  them  were  wounded  most  horribly, 
having  been  blown  up  when  the  magazine  exploded. 

On  the  second  day  after  the  sortie,  I  saw  a  number  of  wagon  loads 
of  those  blackened  and  maimed  British  soldiers  as  they  stopped  in 
front  of  my  father's  house  on  their  way  to  the  hospital. 

Recently  with  one  of  the  oldest  residents  of  the  tovvn,  Hon.  T.  A. 
Hopkins,  I  visited  this  burying  place.  There  was  not  a  slab  or 
monument  of  any  kind  to  be  seen  to  designate  the  graves.  Only 
the  uneven  hillocks  marked  the  spot  that  contains  the  bones  of  our 
unhonored  dead. 


This  ground  is  a  little  elevated  from  the  surrounding  land  and 
road  adjoining.  On  the  border  of  two  sides  stand  ten  sugar  maple 
trees,  from  one  and  one-fourth  to  two  feet  in  diameter  ;  all  but  one 
in  a  fine  healthy  condition.  I  have  no  doubt  they  were  planted  there 
by  the  comrades  of  those  whose  bones  now  occupy  this  ground. 
The  tenth  tree  is  in  a  state  of  decay,  and  like  many  of  the  human 
race  is  beginning  to  die  at  the  top. 

It  is  known  only  to  a  few  living  witnesses  that  this  spot  of  ground 
contains  the  graves  of  some  of  our  dead  soldiers.  Our  Government 
ought  to  erect  at  this  beautiful  retired  place  a  suitable  monument 
to  their  memory  and  provide  for  removing  thither  the  skeletons  of 
others,  when  found  in  excavating  in  the  village. 

Fort  Porter. — There  is  a  burying  ground  for  United  States  soldiers 
dying  while  stationed  at  Buffalo.  The  first  interment  was  made  in 
1867.  Up  to  February,  1878,  there  had  been  sixteen  burials,  all  at 
the  north  corner  of  the  ground. 

It  was  my  original  intention  to  include  in  this  account  only  the 
burial  places  which  belong  to  the  early  history  of  our  city  ;  having 
especially  in  mind  the  spots  where  our  dead  soldiers  have  been  in- 
terred. I  might  therefore  here  conclude  this  paper.  But  I  have 
decided  to  make  it  answer  more  perfectly  to  its  title,  by  adding  such 
information  as  I  could  gather  concerning  all  the  burial  places  hither- 
to and  now  existing  here,  and  in  the  immediate  neighborhood,  even 
though  I  might  be  able  to  give  little  if  anything  more,  in  some  in- 
stances, then  the  name. 

For  the  information  thus  embodied,  I  am  in  a  large  measure  in- 
debted to  our  fellow  citizen,  Mr.  Nicholas  Ottenot,  the  extremely 
painstaking  and  accurate  Secretary  of  the  German  and  French 
Catholic  Cemetery  at  Pine  Hill,  and  to  the  careful  inquiries  of  Rev. 
Albert  Bigelow. 


Of  these  there  have  been  and  are  quite  a  number.  I  mention 
these  in  order  of  the  times  of  opening  for  use. 


Old  St.  Louis. — This  was  situated  in  Edward  street,  near  Main. 
Burials  commenced  here  in  1830,  in  ground  given  by  Mr.  Lecouteulx 
for  the  purpose.  But  in  1832,  the  city  authorities  prohibited  them, 
as  they  had  done  in  other  cases,  and  the  use  of  this  ground  was  dis- 
continued. The  bodies  were,  so  far  as  they  could  be  discovered, 
removed  to  the  then  new  grounds  next  below  mentioned  ;  and  the 
place  became  the  site  of  the  priest's  house. 

New  St.  Louis. — Thus  it  is  proper  to  distinguish  the  lot  referred 
to  (page  8,  above)  as  set  off  from  the  city  Potter's  Field.  It  is  situ- 
ated between  North  and  Best  streets,  having  88  feet  front  on  each  ; 
being  a  strip  taken  from  the  west  part  of  the  original  five  acres. 
It  contains  perhaps  an  acre  of  ground,  more  or  less.  It  was  o])ened 
in  1832,  and  closed  in  1,859. 

Old  St.  Marys. — This  is  situated  on  the  southeast  corner  of  John- 
son and  North  streets.  It  was  opened  in  1S45,  and  closed  in  i860. 
It  contains  about  one  and  one-half  acres.  Many  bodies  have  been 
removed  to  the  new  ground  at  Pine  Hill  ;  though  the  place  has  not 
been  devoted  to  any  other  purpose,  and   bodies   are  yet  lying  there. 

St.  Francis  Xavier. — This  ground  is  at  North  Buffalo  (Lower  Black 
Rock).  It  was  opened  about  1850,  and  is  still  in  use.  It  is  situated 
near  the  crossing  of  Bird  street  by  the  Falls  branch  of  the  New 
York  Central  Railroad,  and  contains  about  two  acres.  St.  John's 
church.  North  Buffalo,  has  also  use  in  common  of  this  ground. 

St.  JosepJis. — This  ground  is  situated  at  Elysville  on  Buffalo  Plains, 
just  south  of  the  Poor-house — about  five  miles  from  the  Buffalo  post- 
office.  It  was  opened  in  1850,  and  is  still  used.  It  contains  about 
six  acres. 

Lloly  Cross. — This  cemetery  is  at  Limestone  Hill,  South  Buffalo, 
about  four  miles  from  the  postoffice.  It  was  opened  in  1855,  and 
contains  about  eighty  acres. 

It  is  distinguished  as  being  the  Bishop's  cemetery,  as  the  title  is 
solely  in  him.  In  this  it  is  different  from  all  the  other  Roman  Cath- 
olic grounds,  which  are  either  under  the  state  law  incorporated  and 
held  by  trustees,  or  are  owned  by  the  various  parishes  whose 
names  they  bear. 


This  cemetery  is  also  peculiar  in  that  it  is  used  exclusively  for  the 
burial  of  those  of  Irish  birth. 

United  German  and  French. — This  is  used  for  the  burial  of  Roman 
Catholics  of  these  two  nationalities,  as  the  Holy  Cross  is  for  Irish 
persons.  It  is  also  a  corporation  under  trustees,  as  noted  in  the  pre- 
ceding article.  Besides  this,  it  should  be  specially  stated  that  some- 
what as  Forest  Lawn  has  become  the  chief  Protestant  and  general 
cemetery,  into  that  just  named  have  been  merged  all  the  Roman 
Catholic  cemeteries  which  were  within  the  city  limits,  except  that  at 
Limestone  Hill.  Of  it,  the  original  fourteen  acres  purchased  in 
1858  and  opened  in  1859  for  burial  purposes  are  now  entirely  filled 
with  graves,  and  the  twenty-eight  acres  purchased  nine  years  ago  are 
rapidly  filling  up.  The  grounds  are  laid  out  with  much  skill  and  taste  ; 
and  by  a  system  of  records  of  great  minuteness  and  accuracy,  fol- 
lowed for  twenty  years,  the  Secretary  is  able  to  give  in  a  moment 
the  exact  place  of  burial,  and  numerous  chief  descriptive  and  iden- 
tifying facts  concerning  every  person  buried  within  this  cemetery,  in 
that  time.     It  contains  in  all  42  acres. 

Pine  Hill,  where  this  and  several  other  cemeteries  below  men- 
tioned are  located,  is  on  the  direct  Batavia  road  (New  Genesee  street) 
about  a  mile  beyond  the  present  city  limits.  It  is,  on  the  whole,  a 
very  favorable  location  for  cemetery  purposes. 


Bethel  Cemetery,  (Polish.) — The  Bethel  Society,  organized  in  1839, 
purchased  about  1844  a  burial  place  fronting  on  what  is  now  Fill- 
more avenue,  between  Batavia  and  William  streets.  The  whole  lot 
contains  three  and  one-half  acres.  They  opened  a  portion  of  it 
only  for  burials. 

The  Jacobson  Society  (German),  was  some  years  afterwards  organ- 
ized, and  another  and  smaller  portion  of  the  above  lot  conveyed  to 
them  as  a  burying  place. 

The  Bethel  Society,  after  the  opening  of  the  Pine  Hill  cemeteries, 
obtained  a  lot  there,  about  two  and  a  half  acres  in  extent,  and 
between  1862  and  1865,  opened  the  ground  which  is  now  known  by 
their  name,  in  close  proximity  to  the  German  and  French  cemetery. 


The  Jacobson  Society  was  succeeded  by  the  Beth  Zion,  which  also 
purchased  a  burying  ground  at  Pine  Hill,  and  when  afterwards  the 
Temple  Society  was  formed,  and  united  with  Beth  Zion  as  Temple 
Beth  Zion,  this  ground  became  the  property  of  the  united  societies 
and  is  known  as 

Temple  Beth  Zion  Cemetery.— Thh  contains  an  area  bounded  by 
60  feet  front  and  450  deep,  and  can  hardly  be  deemed  adequate  to 
the  wants  and  ability  of  our  Jewish  population. 

The  old  cemetery  lot  on  Fillmore  avenue  has  been  sold  to  private 
parties,  with  express  provision  that  the  burial  places  shall  always  be 
kept  well  fenced  and  guarded,  according  to  the  excellent  Jewish 
saying,  "Let  the  dead  rest." 


Cemetery  of  St.  John,  (Pine  Hill.)— This  ground  belongs  to  Luth- 
erans. It  is  located  on  a  corner  of  the  Pine  Hill  and  Pine  Ridge 
roads.  It  contains  several  acres,  bought  in  1858.  The  first  inter- 
ment took  place  July  6,  1859. 

Holy  Rest  or  Old  German  Lutheran  Trinity  Cemetery,  (Pine  Hill.) 
— This  contains  three  acres,  and  was  opened  in  1859. 

Zion  Church  Cemetery,  (Pine  Hill.)— This  belongs  to  the  congrega- 
tion known  as  the  German  Evangelical  Reformed  Zion  Church.  It 
contains  four  acres,  and  was  opened  about  1859. 

The  Salem  Evangelical  Mission  oi  Zion  church,  also  occupies  a  part 
of  this  ground. 

Mount  Hope  Cemetery,  (Pine  Hill.)— This  ground  is  the  property 
of  Mr.  Rapin,  and  is  appropriated  to  burials  without  respect  to 
nationality  or  form  of  religion. 

Hotvard  Free  Cemetery,  (Pine  Hill.)— This  is  a  private  ground,  de- 
voted exclusively  however  to  burials  from  the  country  beyond.  It 
is  not  like  the  rest,  a  city  burial  place. 

Concordia  Cemetery.— -This  as  its  name  imports,  is  in  fact  a  union 
ground.  It  is  situated  on  Genesee  street,  between  the  New  York 
Central  and  Erie  Railway  (Niagara  Falls)  crossings.  It  comprises 
fifteen  acres,  bought  in  1858,  and  opened  for  use  in  1859.  The 
grounds  are  appropriated  as  follows  : 


1.  The  German  Evangelical  St  Peter  s  congregation  use  5  acres. 

2.  The  German  Evangelical  St.  Stephen  s  congregation,  5  acres. 

3.  The  First  German  Lutherati   Trinity  congregation,  3  acres. 

4.  The  keeper's  premises  occupy  the  remaining  2  acres. 

St.  Mathcius  United  Church  Cemetery. — This  is  located  on  Clinton 
street,  near  the  Sulphur  Springs  Orphan  Asylum.  It  is  pleasantly 
situated,  having  a  creek  on  its  northern  side,  diversifying  the  view  ; 
and  the  ground  is  well  laid  out  and  kept,  being  planted  with  fir  and 
shade  trees.     It  contains  ten  acres  ;  and  was  opened  in  1875. 

German  Methodist  Cemetery. — This  belongs  to  the  Black  Rock 
German  Evangelical  M.  E.  Church,  North  Buffalo.  It  is  situated  on 
Bird  street,  and  contains  about  51-4  acres.     It  was  opened  in  1870. 

Reservation  Cemetery. — This  is  the  old  Indian  Church  burying 
ground  on  the  continuation  of  Seneca  street,  and  has  within  the 
general  inclosure  of  which  it  forms  a  part,  the  grave  of  the  cele- 
brated Indian  Chief  Red  Jacket. 

As,  now,  in  conclusion,  we  glance  over  the  past  seventy-frve  years, 
and  sweep  the  eye  around  our  present  city,  within  the  circuit  of  five 
or  six  miles  from  the  postoffice,  what  strange  thoughts  are  awakened  ! 
In  that  time  nearly  three  generations  have  passed  away  ;  and  while 
now  150,000  people  dwell  upon  the  surface,  we  may  almost  literally 
say  that  the  ground  occupied  by  these  busy  multitudes  is,  or  has 
been,  well  nigh  everywhere,  a  burial  place  for  the  dead.  How  true 
become  to  ug,  and  how'  impressive  the  lessons  which  they  suggest, 
the  words  of  Solomon, 

"  One  generation  passeth   away,    and   another  generation   cometh,  but 
the  earth  abideth  forever." 

And  as  we  turn  ffom  our  visit  to  the  great  city  of  the  dead,  let  us 
the  more  reverently  cherish  their  memory,  and,  emulating  their  vir- 
tues while  avoiding  their  errors,  seek  to  be  ready  so  that  when  "  our 
summons  comes,"  we  may  each 

-approach  the  grave 

As  one  who  wraps  the  drapery  of  his  couch 
About  him,  and  lies  down  to  pleasant  dreams." 



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